Zero-Rated Applications and User Experience in South Africa

Over the summer and into the fall of 2017 I have been working with Dr. Marshini Chetty to conduct human-computer interaction user research focused on mobile phone users in South Africa. Our goal is to investigate the impact of zero-rated services, such as Facebook’s Free Basics, on low income mobile users. To do this we have designed a mixed methods approach consisting of interviews, surveys, and the recording of mobile data consumption. By examining the experience of both veteran and novice users, we hope to gain insight into both the long-term and initial experience of the Free Basics application, in addition to determining its effectiveness at increasing internet usage among low income populations.

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